Union Cabinet has approved the Pesticide Management Bill 2020 to promote the use of organic pesticides in the country. The information was shared by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on February 12, 2020.
The bill aims to regulate the business of pesticides that is currently being regulated by the age-old 1968 rules, which require immediate rewriting. The bill will now be presented in the Parliament.
Under Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, the farmers will be compensated in case of losses of crops due to the use of spurious agrochemicals.
Pesticides Management Bill, 2020: Key Highlights
• The bill will empower farmers to get all the information regarding pesticides including their strengths and weaknesses and the risk and alternatives involved, as the data would be made available in open source, in a digital format and in all languages.
• The bill will also include the provision of compensating the farmers in case of losses due to the use of spurious or low quality of pesticides.
• The union government may form a central fund to take care of the compensation.
• The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 aims to replace the existing Insecticides Act of 1968.
The centre had released a draft of the Pesticides bill in February 2018 to replace the existing Insecticides Act of 1968. The draft bill proposed to raise penalties on the sale of prohibited pesticides to Rs 50 lakh and a jail term up to five years from the current fine of Rs 2,000 and jail term up to three years.
The Centre for Science and Environment had, however, criticized the 2018 bill for falling short of giving the state governments more power in decision making on pesticide management. The centre pointed out that the states should have a say in the final decision making on pesticides, as they understand the agro-ecological climate, environment and soil conditions better.
It is not clear whether these suggestions have been included in the latest draft of the bill that was approved by the Union Cabinet.